7 Way to Cope without Retail Therapy when You're Feeling down ...

There are several ways to cope without retail therapy. If you're feeling sad, depressed or you've had a bad day at work, going to the store and treating yourself to something special might lift your spirits. But retail therapy can also complicate your finances and increase the risk of debt. Fortunately, there are ways to cope without retail therapy when you're feeling down.

1. Exercise

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Exercise is one of the best ways to cope without retail therapy when you're feeling down. Exercise releases endorphins which are feel good hormones. It can reduce stress levels and elevate your mood, giving you the power to cope with a variety of situations. And best of all, it doesn't take much time. Take a 20 to 30-minute bike ride or walk around your neighborhood.

2. Listen to Music

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To lift your mood, turn on the radio or put on your iPod and listen to music. But don't listen to sad or depressing music. Find your most upbeat playlist and dance around the house. This not only provides the opportunity to exercise and release stress, music can make you feel happier and you're less likely to focus on your problems.

3. Start a Project

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Our minds can only focus on one thing at a time. And if you're feeling sad or depressed and ready to hit the mall, this is the perfect time to start a project. Whether you're cleaning out your closet or exploring your crafty side, don't mope around or believe you have to spend to feel better. After 20 minutes of being engrossed in a project, you may forget about your bad day.

4. Call a Friend

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Call up a friend and hit the town. Chances are there are tons of things to do in your local area that don't involve spending money, or involve spending very little. Go to the movies or invite a friend over to watch a movie. Go to a museum, the beach, or check out free events.

5. Give Yourself a Splurge Budget

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Research shows there's truth behind the notion of retail therapy. The problem, however, is that many people go overboard. If you haven't splurged in a while and you feel a little retail therapy can get you out of a funk, give yourself a small splurge budget – but only if you can afford to spend money.

6. What Are You Thankful for?

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Put aside the pity party, grab a sheet of paper and write down everything you're thankful for. This might include your family, your job, your health, friends, etc. There's a tendency to focus on what's going bad, and we sometimes forget to focus on what's going good.

6. Help a Friend or Volunteer

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Take your mind off yourself and make yourself available to a friend or a local organization. Giving to others is one of the best ways to lift our spirits. Call up a friend and ask if you can assist with a project. If you deal with the blues on a regular basis, contact local charities to see if they need volunteers.

Retail therapy isn't the only way to get through a tough time and lift your spirits. The above tips can help if you want to feel better without spending a dime. What are other ways to cope without retail therapy?

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